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Levellers - Bethnal Green Pleasure Unit, London, 11/11/2006

  by Sarah Maybank

published: 22 / 11 / 2006

Levellers - Bethnal Green Pleasure Unit, London, 11/11/2006


New Pennyblackmusic writer Sarah Maybank watches Welsh pop art punks the Loves play a vibrant and exciting set at Bethnal Green Pleasure Unit in London

Hey, hey we’re… the Horrors? What madness is this? Seven Cardiff tykes attired like the novelty Goths, swaggering like a Bronx street gang and rocking like the Monkees spraying you with sherbert-loaded AK47s ? Welcome to the Loves. Playing a Halloween bash so belated you can smell carol singers roasting on a chestnut fire outside, the Cardiff sevensome alchemise their cutie pop into a Viking invasion cacophony when unleashed live. On the stroke of one heavy metal intro chord, they screech off in a fuzzbox-fuelled blur of shalalas, singer/svengali Simon Love and guitar henchman Rhys sawing away, heads down, as the rest sparkle behind like the tail of a comet. Like a teen mag problem page they're obsessed with girls and boys, falling in love, falling out, and falling apart, and in their 20 minutes on stage they switchback through a deranged rollercoaster of a set stuffed with enough bababas and ramalamas to fuel the BBC's children’s output for a year. The Loves shamelessly snatch guitar pop out of the sixth form common room, ram it against the wall at the fifth years' disco and snog its face off. Leaving clever Franz Ferdinand and anguished Bloc Party behind to polish their thesauruses, they fire out love letter after love letter to every 60's girlband ever via the Ramones and the Rough Guide to Cool Rock ‘n’ Roll Fringes. In a parallel universe having melodies so sweet that the Hansel and Gretel house is threatening to sue is earning a parallel Loves their umpteenth Brit award. But here and now, being as adorable – but also as original -as a Beatles wig isn’t setting the world alight. The melody/noise/speed thing sabre-toothed C86ers like the Shop Assistants and the Primitives were spitting out 20 years ago. So with vicious/cute being co-opted by everyone from Bratz dolls to the Sugababes nowadays is there really any point to the Loves? Yes,sir - as long as addictively whistle-able tunes are keeping chart-meisters like Guy Chambers and Cathy Dennis in diamond studded mansions. Simon Love has Madonna sized ambitions, and wants to blow up his former school and, Saddam-style, replace it with a statue of himself. If you want to keep him out of the hands of The Man, love the Loves and start buying their records. The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Bob Stuart and originally appeared on his website www.underexposed.org.uk

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Levellers - Bethnal Green Pleasure Unit, London, 11/11/2006

Levellers - Bethnal Green Pleasure Unit, London, 11/11/2006

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